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Softpanorama Algorithms and Data Structures

Softpanorama Algorithms and Data Structures

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Why should you want to know more about algorithms? “Languages come and go, but algorithms stand the test of time. An algorithm must be seen to be believed” (Donald Knuth). There are many simple algorithms that can be used in practical situations. I have included information about these algorithms that you can confidently use as they have been peer reviewed for correctness

Knowledge of basic algorithms will help you to develop your own programs and algorithms. Having access to this information may help you with your studies in a particular course at your current college or university. For example, if your goal is to be a programmer, then knowledge of algorithms and an understanding of what types of problems they can help to solve is essential. This is especially important for open source developers.

Another important topic addressed on the Softpanorama website is called data structures. I have included many useful resources and information related to that topic because it can be difficult to find credible and reputable resources on the internet.

An extremely important and often overlooked class of algorithms are compiler algorithms (lex analysis, parsing and code generation). They actually represent a very efficient paradigm for solving wide class of tasks similar to compilation of the program. For example complex conversions from one format to another. Also any complex program usually has its own command language and knowledge of compiler algorithms can prevent authors from making typical for amateurs blunders (which are common in open source software). In a way Greenspun’s tenth rule – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Many authors writing about algorithms try to hide their lack of competence with abuse of mathematical symbolic. Excessive use of mathematics in presentation of algorithms is often counterproductive (verification fiasco can serve as a warning for all future generation; it buried such talented authors as E. Dijkstra, David Gries and many others).

I have also compiled a list of recommended books for serious students. One book I highly recommend is TAOCP by Knuth, who writes with such complexity, but delivers powerful information about algorithms and data structures for programmers. Other books to check out are written in relation to the topic of computer languages. There are many books you will want to check out to gain a deeper understanding of languages. Primarily, you will want to check into reading about C-based languages. C is preferable to C++ and Java for the algorithms course.

As another great resource, I have included a plethora of links to reputable websites that will further advance your knowledge on the topics of algorithms and data structures. These links will lead you to directories, university websites, and individual home pages. You will be able to find vast amounts of articles through lecture notes, e-books, magazines, research papers, and libraries. I have worked tirelessly to compile the best information so that you can feel confident that you are reading the most accurate information.

Furthermore, I have included programming assignments that can be copied and modified as these are real programming assignments. You can use them as is for your own class if you are a teacher, or for personal use to work through on your own.


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